Musik für Streichinstrumente continues ECM's association with Hungarian composer György Kurtág, initiated with the recording of his Schumann tribute Hommage à R. Sch., op.15d, Jelek, op. 5, and the Neun Stücke für Viola solo (ECM New Series 1508).The new album, which focuses on chamber music written between 1959 and 1991, also marks the label debut of the Keller Quartet, increasingly regarded as one of the most impressive contemporary string quartets.András Keller, János Pilz, Zoltán Gal, and Ottó Kertész are graduates of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where they studied with Kurtág. They founded the Keller Quartet in 1987 while still students and, in 1990, made headlines by winning the two most important European string quartet competitions, the Evian and the Borciani, within a four-week period - collecting not only the first prizes in each instance, but also all additional prizes.From its inception, the quartet has demonstrated its mastery of a wide range of repertoire, from Beethoven to Kurtág, via Schubert, Dvorak, Schoenberg, Bartók, Ligeti, Denisov and much more, virtually the entire spectrum of quartet music. Recordings by the Keller Quartet of the complete Bartók cycle for Erato, in particular, have met with international acclaim. To quote Sándor Vegh, "They have entered into the very soul of these works and conveyed that soul to their listeners."For Quartet leader András Keller one of the most important aspects of the work is the relationship with György Kurtág. As he told journalist Reinmar Wagner in an interview for Swiss magazine Musik & Theater: "It is a great good fortune to be in such close contact with one of the most important contemporary composers. To work with him is, simultaneously, very beautiful and very hard. Because he is always moving, because there is no wrong and right. He demands that one lives in the music, from moment to moment. And that's what we've learned from him: whatever we play, to live in that music."